Ithaki | Small Island of Serenity

Ithaki is the second smallest among the seven Ionian Islands. However, it’s quieter than its nearby neighbor, Kefalonia. This makes Ithaca perfect for enjoying private beaches, hiking, and mountain biking.

This island is special because it has both amazing stories and beautiful nature. It’s famous as the legendary home of Odysseus, the hero from Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey.” Ithaki is a unique place that attracts travelers looking for a real and peaceful experience.

Ithaca Island Greece
Ithaca Island. Photo by NakNakNak on Pixabay.

Climate

Ithaki has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. With an average yearly temperature of around 18°C, abundant sunshine further adds to the island’s appeal. This makes it a great place for outdoor fun, making it a perfect sunny getaway.

Places to see on Ithaki

  • Towns and villages. Vathy, a charming and picturesque village, has been the capital and main harbor of the island since the 16th century. In addition to the main town, visit other places such as Stavros, Plathritias, Perahori, Lefki, Anoyi, Kioni, and Exogi.
  • The Monastery of Panagia Kathariotissa. Its location gives a fantastic view of the island and the capital town, Vathi.
  • The Acropolis of Alalcomenae.
  • The Cave of the Nymphs. Also called Marmarospilia. Archaeological research shows that it was a place of worship for the Nymphs during ancient times.
  • Homer’s School: Visit the cave where the famed poet Homer, writer of “The Odyssey,” may have once taught. The location radiates an enchanting blend of myth and history.
  • Anogi Village: Immerse yourself in the charming village of Anogi, famous for its ancient churches, stone-built houses, and panoramic vistas.
  • Kioni Village: Explore Kioni, a coastal village adorned with colorful houses, a scenic harbor, and enticing waterside tavernas.
  • Mount Neritos: Take a hike to Mount Neritos which is the highest peak in Ithaki. You’ll experience stunning views of the Ionian Sea.
  • Gidaki Beach: Although you can only reach Gidaki Beach by boat or a nice hike, it’s worth it. The place is quiet and offers a private spot for nature lovers.
  • Archaeological Sites: Discover old ruins spread throughout the island, including the remains of forts, temples, and structures from the Roman era.
  • Odysseus’ Palace: People are still figuring out where exactly Odysseus’ Palace is located. However, you can still explore other beautiful places connected to his famous home.
  • Stavros: Visit Stavros, a village rich in archaeological sites, including the Church of Taxiarches and ancient cisterns.

Things to do on Ithaki

  • Filiatro Beach: Relax on the sandy shores of Filiatro Beach, nestled within lush greenery and offering crystal-clear waters for swimming.
  • Go to the beach. Loutsa Beach is about 20 minutes’ walking distance from the capital of Vathi.
  • Hike. Embark on hiking trails that crisscross the island, offering opportunities to witness stunning landscapes and historical sites.
  • Swimming: Find hidden coves, relax on different beaches, and enjoy special moments like sunset and moonlit swims. Even more, the clear waters, lively marine life for snorkeling, and guided tours all enhance its natural beauty.
  • Shop. Medousa Boutique in the bayside village of Kioni has an excellent selection of clothing, perfumes, and other gift ideas.
  • Watersports: Engage in watersports like kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling in the azure waters surrounding Ithaki. Make sure to use your yacht’s water toys.
  • Olive Oil Tasting: Explore the island’s olive oil world by visiting local olive groves. Enjoy the delicious flavors of well-known oils from the area.
  • Cultural Events: Attend local festivals, concerts, and art exhibitions to immerse yourself in Ithaki’s vibrant cultural scene.
  • Birdwatching: Ithaki is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with diverse avian species inhabiting its lush landscapes.
  • Explore Caves: Other great places to explore include Loizos Cave and Kathara Cave, where you can witness unique geological formations.
  • Photography: Capture the island’s stunning landscapes, charming villages, and captivating sunsets through your camera lens.
  • Visit Monasteries: Pay a visit to the island’s monasteries, such as the Monastery of Kathara, to experience moments of serenity.
  • Cooking Classes: Learn to prepare traditional Greek dishes through cooking classes, embracing the island’s gastronomic heritage.

Gastronomy

Ithaca’s local food is tasty, featuring rich olive oil and aromatic herbs like rosemary, thyme, savory, and oregano in many dishes.

In Ithaca, you’ll find sweet treats and preserves made from local honey and fruits. Additionally, try the homemade Tserepa Chicken, cooked in a traditional clay pot over charcoals. Explore numerous dishes that feature fresh, seasonal produce, meats, and fish.

One restaurant to try is Chani, which offers traditional Greek and Mediterranean dishes.

Visit Ithaki on an Ionian Islands Charter.

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